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Addressing the business property tax issue

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There has been a significant decline in the combined municipal business tax and non-residential property tax responsibility from 2001 to 2020 compared to the property tax responsibility borne by residential property owners over the same time frame.  

tax distribution
I2001, the proportion of non-residential property tax and business tax was 62%.  This percentage has declined continuously over the past 19 years and currently rests at 51%. 

Council decisions have supported the decrease in non-residential property and business taxes over time:

 

  • A business tax freeze was put in place prior to 2001 that restrained growth of business taxes – the freeze continues despite the business tax being consolidated into the non-residential property tax in 2019.
  • Business tax phased out over seven-year period and eliminated in 2019 to enhance Calgary’s economic competitiveness. 
  • Tax room generated from lower than anticipated provincial education requisition has favored non-residential taxpayers.

Council looked at several options to mitigate in 2019:

​Including ​Results
  • Tax shift from commercial to residential ​
  • Budget reductions
  • Continuing Phased Tax Program (PTP)
  • ​Budget reduction of $16.5M to begin the year with a minor shift from non-residential to residential. 
  • Mid-year 2019 budget cuts of $60 million which contributed to the 2019 Phased Tax Program 
Council directed two scenarios to be prepared that equate to a 1.5 and 0 per cent increase in 2020 property tax, as opposed to the previously approved 3.03 per cent increase. Council will discuss these scenarios in the last week of November 2019.View 2020 One Calgary Service Plans and Budget report.
 

How does Calgary’s non-residential property tax compare to the rest of Canada?